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Balance is key to a happy life

Balance in all areas of life, including emotions, body, and mind, supports happiness.

When I'm alone, I can be reflective. I can write a kick ass blog or paint a beautiful watercolor scene. I can read a good book and get lost in the pages. I can catch up on sleep. I can immerse myself in nature and pay attention to the smell of Douglas Fir and the songs of black-capped chickadees and red-breasted nuthatches. I notice vibrant colors and can focus on amazing flavors. I can meditate and let my energy join in the world of vibrations.

But too much time alone creates an imbalance. We are social beings so I need to spend time in social interaction. I need walk and talk times with my best friend. I need hugs from my children and grandchildren. I need to join in celebrations with my social groups. I need to go to ping pong club and laugh with the other players as we hit the silly white ball back and forth. I go to local live theater performances with friends and discuss the plays afterwards. Or I go to book club and we talk about what we read that month. I go to coffees and lunches and catch up on what every one else is doing. This is my connection to the world.

I mix up my creative time and time to be in the moment with nature. I go back and forth between activity and leisure. I need to have time when I sit and type, or paint, or read. Then I need to break that up with a walk in the woods or a game of table tennis.

My mind loves to be exercised. I keep my brain active by doing logic puzzles with coffee in the morning. Then I do something less taxing, like cooking a meal or being out in nature. Often I just do a little laundry or clean the kitchen to rest my brain.

It's good to be in the present with sensory pleasures but it's also good to plan for future events. Planning a trip or an event adds a boost of dopamine (the feel good hormone) because of the anticipation of a good time.

When I'm out of balance, I feel a need to put things right. If I've been alone a lot, I'll call a friend. We'll plan a shared activity. My friend Susan and I are going bird watching on the shores of Puget Sound. I have an alcohol ink painting class coming up with friends from the Sudden Valley Art Group. I'm doing a #Zoog recording of Goldilocks and the Three Bears for my Montana family. My Bellingham family is coming to dinner for lasagna and marinated green beans.

Balance is the key.

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